5 Useful USB Drive Tricks Every PC User Should Know

Do you own a USB thumb drive? I bet you have more than one of them lying around. So why not use them to boost your productivity on the go, keep your data safe, and even rescue Windows. Here are five useful USB thumb drive tricks for you to check out.

1. Access your favorite programs on the go

If you are travelling without your laptop but would still like to have access to your favorite software, the answer is to install it on your USB drive. PostableApps.com is a good place to start. You can either download separate portable apps and compile your own collection, or simply download the PortableApps.com Suite. The Suite contains all-time favorites like Firefox, OpenOffice, Notepad++, GIMP and lots of other apps.

2. Rescue your Windows

Sometimes things go wrong and Windows collapses, so that you can’t even boot into it. A USB drive with a Linux OS installed on it can help you fix Windows or at least rescue your files. With the help of the USB drive you’ll be able to remove viruses, free up disk space, recover your files, and even change your Windows password. This Lifehacker post describes how to do it.

3. Lock your PC

If you worry that about unauthorized access to your PC at the office when you step away, consider locking it with USB PC Lock Pro. This program needs to be installed on your computer and it can turn any USB thumb drive into a lock/unlock key. Its features include locking your desktop, locking MSN messenger, stopping streaming media traffic, and stopping event logging.

4. Protect your confidential information

You can also use an encrypted USB drive to store your confidential information, like bank accounts numbers. There are lots of encryption applications available for download, but the best ones are USB Safeguard and TrueCrypt. You can also use USB Safeguard to configure your thumb drive to self-destruct if someone tries to access the encrypted files without the password too many times. The free version of USB Safeguard will work on an up to 2 GB drive.

5. Protect your passwords

If you use public computers from time to time, it’s best to protect all your passwords and store them securely on a USB drive. This way you will protect yourself from keyloggers and identity theft. KeePass Password Safe Portable is a good password manager that will make sure only you have access to your passwords.

Guest post by Andrew Breen, Marketing Director at Auslogics Software. Auslogics makes award-winning Windows software to clean up and speed up PCs.

Filed under: Tips n Tricks
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July 26, 2011 by: Prasanth Chandra

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